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Willie Henry is the final piece for a dominant defensive tackle rotation

Pass rush from the interior makes the Ravens scheme proof

USA Today Sports

The Baltimore Ravens have addressed the defensive tackle position early and often over the last four drafts.  They took Brandon Williams in the third round in 2013, Timmy Jernigan in the second round in 2014, Carl Davis in the third round in 2015 and Willie Henry in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft.  These four all bring unique skills, giving the Ravens a young defensive tackle rotation that is capable of giving them the advantage in any situation.

Willie Henry is the newest addition to the quartet after six and a half sacks along with ten tackles behind the line last season for the Michigan Wolverines.  Henry has quick twitch athleticism for a 6'3' 305 pound man, with an explosive first step and a powerful upper body.  When he uses proper leverage, he can stack and shed offensive lineman with ease.  He does not have great technique against the run, but plays with good effort and can two gap when called upon.  Henry has extensive experience with twists and stunts at Michigan, a rotational interior pass rushing role would be the best use of his above average burst.

Adding Henry to the defensive tackle core will give Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees outstanding versatility.  Brandon Williams is an exceptional run defender who can two gap with the best anchors in the NFL.  Carl Davis is stout at the point of attack and can also fill two gaps.  Williams and Davis would be the ideal interior combination for short yardage plays and early downs where running plays are expected.

Jernigan is an interior disruptor who can get into the backfield using a variety of pass rushing moves.  Replacing Davis with Jernigan on unpredictable down and distances would give the Ravens defensive line the best of both worlds with a classic run plugger next to a gap shooter.

For obvious passing situations, Pees can now put Henry next to Jernigan in nickel with a four man front using any of the edge rushers at defensive end, bringing the heat on the pass rusher from every angle.  Now having two interior penetrators is key to disrupting the rhythm of the short passing game.  And on heavy goal line packages, all four defensive tackles can be utilized to form an impenetrable front with the Ravens big linebackers supporting them.

The game of football begins in the trenches, especially in the rugged AFC North.  These four defensive tackles can matchup with any offensive scheme - power rushing, vertical passing or short passing game. With Henry in the fold, a strong four man rotation will keep these big men fresh and let them hunt.